Bubba Wallace endured an eventful final stage of Sunday afternoon’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway to claim a top-five finish. Wallace started on the outside of the front row and contended within the top-five and top-10 for much of the race. Fellow Toyota teammate, Martin Truex Jr. started from the pole position and led a race-high 145 laps (of 295), but contact coming to the end of stage two caused handling damage to his Camry and an accident from the third position on a restart ultimately ended the day for the No. 19 Toyota.
Toyota Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Cup Series (NCS)
Race 13 of 36 – 400.2 miles, 293 laps
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, William Byron*
2nd, Kevin Harvick*
3rd, Chase Elliott*
4th, Brad Keselowski*
5th, BUBBA WALLACE
12th, DENNY HAMLIN
14th, CHRISTOPHER BELL
16th, TY GIBBS
22nd, TYLER REDDICK
31st, MARTIN TRUEX JR.
BUBBA WALLACE, No. 23 Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry TRD, 23XI Racing
Finishing Position: 5th
Definitely a battle on the track today, but a top-five finish. How do you feel about your result?
“Yeah, unfortunately we had that one bad pit stop that set us behind, but this team never gives up. It feels good to rebound fifth. I keep looking at that pylon and I’m still pissed off. There are a couple cars up there that were in a wreck that got put back in front of us. That’s bull crap and it’s frustrating that we got beat like that because I feel that our car was really good, especially at the beginning. I thought we were a second-place car to the 19 (Martin Truex Jr.). All in all for Dr. Pepper, Toyota, this 23 team, proud of our guys, proud of the pit crew for rebounding and giving us a shot with a good points day.”
How strong was your race car today?
“I thought we were a second-place car. I put that down in the debrief and thought the 19 (Martin Truex Jr.) was really strong. I don’t know what got him in the back. Pit stops hurt us, that one kind of set us back, but they rebounded and executed the rest of the time. Appreciate that. Just aero, such a big aero place even when tires wear out. The groove goes to the top and you’re just trying to find your way. Proud of our team and proud of our team for staying in it. Things were starting to fall our way there and ended up fifth. Solid points day. Continuing to climb so it’s good.”
How was your race today overall?
“It was a good day and a good day for our Dr. Pepper Fastest Can Camry was almost the fastest can. We were close. It was a good points day and we have to keep climbing. It’s a long, long season with a lot of races left in front of us. I said it last week, it should be scary for the rest of the field that we’re on this roll and on this roll for momentum reminds me a lot of the fall last year. Just have to keep building off of it. We have the week off next week – let’s go get in some fights and win a million dollars and then go kick their ass at Charlotte like we did last year. Just a frustrating day. I feel like we could have finished third. There were two cars in front of us that had some damage from the wreck and they got put back in front of us. I know I’m beating a dead horse and it doesn’t mean anything, but it’s frustrating because we got beat by that today.”
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 19 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota Camry TRD, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 31st
What happened on the restart that ultimately ended your race?
“When we got into (Ross) Chastain there at the end of the second stage going for the win in that, it knocked the tow out so we were tight from there on out. Just an unfortunate deal. There was plenty of room there, but he just came off the wall and hit me. Like I said, knocked the tow out in the right front. Pretty crappy from there and then on that restart I guess I just got real tight and I don’t even know who I squeezed into the wall, but I apologize to them. Probably my fault, just got real tight and couldn’t stay down the track.”
Toyota Racing PR